British academy

British Academy Research Readerships, British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowships, and Thank-Offering to Britain Fellowship

Results of the 2004 Competition

The British Academy is pleased to announce the result of the 2004 competition for Research Readerships, Senior Research Fellowships and the Thank-Offering to Britain Fellowship. These awards were decided earlier in the year, and will be taken up by the award-holders from this autumn. 143 applicants submitted a total of 158 applications in the competition: 107 for Research Readerships and 51 for the Senior Research Fellowships and Thank-Offering to Britain Fellowship. The Academy was able to fund 14 Readerships, 7 Senior Research Fellowships (for which financial backing is generously provided by the Leverhulme Trust), and 1 Thank-Offering to Britain Fellowship (supported by the TOB Fund).

Research Readerships

107 applications, 14 awards

Bright, Mrs Susan
Reader in Land Law, New College, Oxford
Leases: Landlords, Tenants and Legal Theory
[Award deferred to October 2005]

This research will be used to write a book providing a theoretical foundation of the law of leases. Leases of land underpin much land use in Great Britain. Approximately one in three homes is rented, one third of agricultural land is tenanted, and almost two-thirds of commercial property is leased. The concept of a lease is ancient, being developed over centuries by the courts and added to piecemeal by legislation, with socio-economic events acting as catalysts. The pace of change in leasehold law witnessed over the last couple of decades is unlikely to diminish as human rights legislation, social housing measures, judicial developments, and the results of extensive Law Commission activity all impact on the regulation and uses of leases. This research will explore the law of leases from a number of perspectives - historical, comparative, social, and theoretical - in order to provide a deeper understanding of the nature and uses of leases, of the rights and responsibilities within the leasehold relationship, and an analysis of whether the concepts of the past meet modern and future needs. There are three key areas that will be examined. Firstly, the doctrinal basis of leases as both “property” and “contract”, and the impact that doctrinal classification has upon the development of the law. Second, the wider context of leases will be considered, with a discussion of the variety of factors that influence and shape the leasehold relationship. Third, the work of property and contract legal theorists will be applied to leases.

Campbell, Dr Ian
Reader in Architectural History and Theory, Edinburgh College of Art
The Renaissances of Scotland and Ireland

Many so-called late medieval buildings in Scotland and Ireland do not conform to the Perpendicular style current in England. Common characteristics of these building are features inspired by Romanesque and early Gothic architecture, allowing Scottish and Irish architecture of the period to be categorised as backward and aberrant. However, Brunelleschi, who is now recognised to have copied Romanesque rather than genuinely Roman models, is regarded as the founder of Renaissance architecture from c. 1420. The presence of the revivalist traits in Scottish and Irish architecture from the late fourteenth century suggests that the Renaissance is not a uniquely Italian phenomenon and can be interpreted as part of a cultural and political resurgence in all three areas, following the lift of a threat by a dominant neighbour, whose architectural style is then rejected.

Building on some already-published research, I first intend to examine the meaning of the concept of the Renaissance in relation to Scottish and Irish architecture of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, exploring the links between the two countries to see whether the similarities are cross-fertilisation or independent parallel developments.

The second aim is to trace how Scotland and Ireland gradually assimilated the Italianate Renaissance into their own architectural cultures up to the arrival of canonical classicism in the seventeenth century. In the case of Scotland it is not merely a case of reception but also of exporting its vigorous architectural tradition elsewhere within Europe, as far as Moscow.

Henderson, Professor Julian
Professor of Archaeological Science, University of Nottingham
Glass Provenance and its Impact on Glass Studies

Over the past twenty years the study of ancient glass has grown significantly. A number of new glass production sites has been excavated scientifically and provided new insights into the ways in which glass was manufactured. Studies of the raw glasses and primary raw materials are beginning to produce some intriguing results. Amongst these results is the provenance of ancient glass, whichhas not been a realistic possibility until now. The project consists of a core of primary research which will focus on glass provenance.The results are expected to contribute to the study of ancient glass in new and potentially fundamental ways, but also, ultimately, it may be possible to contribute significantly to the study of faience and early glazes which were made from the same raw materials as glass. Full isotopic - and chemical - characterisation of the plants used to make second millennium BC and Islamic plant ash glasses will reflect their geological origins. Since the glass made from these plants can be characterised in the same way, it should be possible to provenance the glass. The project is a collaborative one with the Directorate of Antiquities in Damascus, the British Geological Survey and Oxford University. Plant sampling will be in collaboration with one of Syria’s leading botanists. The results should contribute to models of production, distribution and use of these glasses in the 2nd millennium BC and Islamic periods. The results of the research will be published as a book in which glass as a material will be discussed in a holistic way, drawing on a range of archaeological, ethnographic and scientific examples.

Hintze, Dr Almut
Zartoshty Lecturer in Zoroastrianism, SOAS
A Zoroastrian High Ritual: The Yasna

This project is about the single most important text of Zoroastrianism, Iran's pre-Islamic religion. The "Worship" (Avestan Yasna), the oldest parts of which probably date from around the twelfth century bce, is not only among the earliest documents written in an Iranian language but also one of the oldest extant ritual liturgies in any language. While the only complete English translation of the Yasna (1887) is now outdated, the project proposed here, incorporating both the Avestan text and a translation of the entire Yasna, has never been undertaken before. It will result in the publication of a substantial volume comprising an edition of the Avestan text based on the best manuscript readings, together with an English translation, a commentary discussing philological problems and an introduction highlighting the significance of this text both as a literary composition and a religious document.

Web link:

Hotson, Professor Howard
Professor in Early Modern History, University of Aberdeen
The Revival of Millenarianism in Early Modern Europe

This project will undertake the first comprehensive, analytical survey of the revival of millenarianism in early modern Europe, Britain and America based firmly on the primary sources and grounded in a reassessment of the application of social scientific models to the data of intellectual history. The conceptual basis of this survey will be the consistent application of a traditional, restrictive, essentially theological definition of millenarianism in place of the loose and anachronistic social-scientific definitions employed in most previous historical literature on this period. The corresponding methodological basis of the study will be to approach millenarianism in the first instance, not as an irrational behaviour of marginal groups explicable only by reference to an imported theoretical framework, but as a closely reasoned theological opinion defended by leading early modern intellectuals and intelligible in their own terms. The evidential basis of the study will be a broad and representative sample of major millenarian writings from across Europe, Britain and America from the late medieval period to the eighteenth century. One fruit of this approach will be to reveal for the first time the general contours of an early modern revival of millenarianism steadily expanding in the post-Reformation era to reach its greatest geographical, confessional, social and cultural diffusion in the latter seventeenth century. A second outcome will be an explanation of this revival deeply rooted in the historical data but ultimately congruent with properly applied social-scientific frameworks. The general results of the study will therefore be to propose a new paradigm for understanding early modern millenarianism, to suggest a new model for the application of social scientific paradigms to the data of intellectual history, and to reveal the need for international and macrohistorical perspectives to complement the national and microhistorical approaches currently dominant.

Hoyle, Professor Richard
Professor of Rural History, University of Reading
A New Economic and Social History of Britain, 1500–1700

There is a need for a new economic and social history of Britain. Over the past twenty years our knowledge of the economy and society of Britain in the early modern period has grown enormously. New (sub-)disciplines have appeared: work on such areas as demographic history, women’s social and economic lives, state finance and consumption has been revelatory. Equally much excellent work has been undertaken on Ireland and Scotland, on the American colonies in New England and in the West Indies and on the Atlantic economy. And so there is a need to take stock, to assimilate the detailed research of the past couple of decades into the more general record where it is accessible to colleagues within the profession, to undergraduates and (hopefully) to the general history-reading public.

The aim of this project is not simply to select from recent historical writing that which seems to be important and worthy of keeping. It is also to try and reformulate British economic and social history in these two centuries around four key principles. First, a new history needs to be set within a comparative north European perspective. Second, it needs to be genuinely British. This is not merely a way of showing how exceptional limited parts of the English and Scottish lowlands were within the British Isles and of shifting attention away from the arable south-east of these islands to the pastoral west. It is also the way in which the history of the British overseas (first in Ireland, then in north America, south Asia and so on) can be integrated into the record and the terrific expansionist and commercial impulse that drove trade particularly in the seventeenth century explained. Thirdly, it needs to emphasise the role of government, state institutions, legal systems and property rights in creating the conditions for economic growth. Fourthly, it needs to give weight to capital, capitalism and capitalists and set human behaviour within the moral and social frameworks that governed it.

The overall aim is to make a new statement of what economic and social history can contribute to the discipline of early modern history and demonstrate its centrality to our understanding of the period.

Hudson, Professor John
Professor of Legal History, Department of Medieval History, University of St Andrews
The History of English Law, c.870–1220 (Oxford History of the Laws of England, Volume 1)

This study of the beginnings of English Common Law breaks down standard chronological divisions. In covering a longer period than do many legal histories, it raises important questions about legal change and its causes. The reigns of Alfred the Great, William the Conqueror, and Henry II have all been taken as vital times of legal transformation. Gathering them will allow comparison of the form and degree of transformation. It also raises more general issues about the relationship of legal development to rapid political change, to the particular aspirations of individual rulers, to administrative growth and bureaucratization, and to social or cultural shifts. Rather than seeking a beginning point or origin, the study looks at the formation of the Common Law as a process of conjuncture between various elements. The Anglo-Saxon period provided ideas of powerful legislative kingship, strong government, local courts closely connected to the king, and many elements significant to the later Common Law regarding crime. The Anglo-Norman period crucially preserved this legacy, whilst introducing new customs regarding land-holding. Such developments were necessary but not sufficient conditions for the development of the Common Law. The Angevin period produced essential elements of routinization and bureaucratization, also connected to an increasingly literate legal culture. At this time royal justices may have exercised their greatest influence over the development of law, acting as a major force for standardization. Increasingly justices were deciding cases, rather than simply presiding over courts, but their expertise was yet to be rivaled by that of a legal profession representing litigants. By the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, law was becoming more clearly distanced from ordinary social practice, as certain royal legal measures were having effects which surprised parties to cases. At the same time, we see the emergence of legal devices based on unintended effects of the technicalities of law, not the normal and intended workings of legal rules. These developments underlie the emergence of the legal profession and of legal change through professional argument, judicial decision, and legislation, which were to characterize later Common Law development. The study, when complete, will appear as the chronologically earliest volume of the Oxford History of the Laws of England.

Mack, Professor Peter
Professor of English, Warwick University
Shakespeare, Montaigne and Renaissance Ethical Reading

Humanist schools in sixteenth century France and England provided their pupils with a range of maxims and stories, techniques for reading texts and methods of generating arguments and manipulating received material. My last book Elizabethan Rhetoric described these techniques and showed how they were used in letters, practical arguing, political debate and religious discourse. In this project I shall compare the ways in which Montaigne and Shakespeare made use of this shared inheritance. I shall argue that the techniques of the grammar school and the pressures of writing for new genres and new audiences enabled them to produce striking formulations and original ideas. Montaigne and Shakespeare were both critical readers of classical and historical texts. Both interrogated the ethical principles and narratives they inherited, Montaigne first by exploring their consequences and contradictions and later by applying the touchstone of personal experience to the materials presented by reading; Shakespeare by rewriting existing narratives and giving poetic voice to the different roles within them. Both lived intensively with their own earlier work: Montaigne in the constant enrichment of his texts as a consequence of new reading and further reflection; Shakespeare through acting in his old plays and taking a different imaginative viewpoint on their situations and motifs as the basis for new work.

Meyerhoff, Dr Miriam
Reader in Linguistics, University of Edinburgh
Language Variation on Bequia (St Vincent, West Indies): An Investigation of Social and Linguistic Factors

Residents of Bequia, a small and comparatively isolated island in the St Vincent & Grenadines, use several varieties of English in day-to-day life. At one end of the linguistic continuum, there are varieties similar to other Eastern Caribbean English Creoles; at the other end of the continuum, there are varieties much closer to Standard English. This project involves sociolinguistic fieldwork on Bequia. The descriptive component of the project involves documenting what the different varieties of English on Bequia are, and how they are used in different social contexts and to different social effect. Recordings of more than forty speakers in three different localities (the main town and more isolated villages) have already been completed; further recordings in small groups and community interactions will be completed in 2004. The corpus will include speakers of different ethnicities (Black, White and Creole) or different family lines (since ethnicity is a sometimes problematic category on Bequia), and speakers engaged in different occupations (traditional activities such as fishing and whaling, the service industries surrounding tourism, and traditional gardening). The project will use the descriptive data to explore how well different sociolinguistic approaches to language variation model the variability found in the tense-aspect system of Bequian. The outcomes will include materials for an academic audience, and also more widely accessible materials foregrounding language diversity in Bequia for local use.

Further information is available at

Price, Dr Munro
Reader in Modern European History , Bradford University
Politics in a Revolutionary Age: France 1814–1848

This project will re-examine a very neglected, yet crucially important period of modern French political history, from the Bourbon restoration in 1814 to the Parisian revolution of February 1848. It will focus on France’s only major experiment in constitutional monarchy, and its strengths and weaknesses. Above all it will question the general assumption of historians of the period that its ultimate failure was inevitable.

The research will focus predominantly on the July monarchy, which has the strongest claim to be considered as France’s most successful period of constitutional monarchy. It will concentrate especially on the relationships and policies at the heart of government, and in particular on the political role of king Louis-Philippe between 1830 and 1848. It will examine the particular type of monarchy Louis-Philippe sought to achieve and to project to the political nation, in a comparative perspective with that of his predecessors back to Louis XVI. At the heart of this will be a study of the considerable executive and legislative powers the king retained, in both domestic and foreign policy, and his relations with his ministers. The wider political system of the constitutional monarchy will also be analysed, including the reasons why it was able to weather one major crisis in July 1830, yet succumbed to an arguably much less serious one in February 1848.

Simons, Professor Peter
Professor of Philosophy, School of Philosophy, University of Leeds
Quantities: The Metaphysics of the Measured

For Aristotle, quantity , giving an answer to a “How much?” question, was one of the funda­mental categories of being. Modern logic, philosophy and mathematics have largely ignored, reduced, or taken for granted the notion of quantity, with the result that it has been poorly researched and understood since the time of Helmholtz, Hölder and Huntington. Quantities are central to the application of mathe­matics in science and everyday life, yet in the debates about the applicability of mathematics, and its alleged indispensability to science, the role of quantities, as that to which mathematics is most directly applied, is generally overlooked. During his tenure of the Readership, Peter Simons will investigate the metaphysics of quantities themselves, setting out to fill the gap in our philosophical understanding of the applicability of mathematics and bidding to expand the debate surrounding the philosophy of mathematics, which tends to centre on pure mathematics. It is conjectured that while there is no single structure essential to all quantities, they can be classified as a formal clade by their various features, and that the concept of a positive magnitude is central to this classification.

Further information is available from:

Stott, Professor Rebecca
Head of Department of English and Drama and Affiliated Scholar of the Dept of History and Philosophy of Science, Anglia Polytechnic University, Cambridge
The Poetics of Evolution

This project will produce a monograph called The Poetics of Evolution, a study of the uses of natural philosophy in early nineteenth-century poetry particularly the work of Tennyson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Arthur Hugh Clough. A major revisionary study of the use of evolutionary ideas in early nineteenth-century British poetry is long overdue as almost all of the studies of literature and science in the nineteenth century have concentrated on Darwinian ideas and on their impact on prose fiction. Instead this project will focus on the cultural impact of pre-Darwinian natural philosophical ideas about the origin and destination of humankind and the conversational poetics made of such speculations. The Poetics of Evolution will differ from earlier cultural studies of evolutionary ideas in several important ways. It will start in the late eighteenth century with a study of the reception in Britain of the works of French evolutionists Buffon, Lamarck, Geoffroy St-Hilaire and a study of the use of evolutionary ideas in the works of Erasmus Darwin, Coleridge and other romantic poets in order to shift the emphasis away from Darwin’s Origin of Species as the supposed major point of cultural assimilation.

This study builds on Professor Stott’s earlier published research, particularly Tennyson (Longman, 1996), Elizabeth Barrett Browning (co-authored with Simon Avery, Longman, 2003), Darwin and the Barnacle (Faber 2003), and Theatres of Glass (Short Books, 2003) as well as her research within the History and Philosophy of Science Department at Cambridge University.

Williams, Professor Allan
Professor of Human Geography and European Studies, University of Exeter
International Migration, Skills and Knowledge: From Human Capital to Socially- and Workplace-Situated Learning

This proposal is framed by three major social science research concerns:

  • The growth in, and changes in the nature of, skilled international migration . This is increasingly characterised by circuits of short term mobility, particularly amongst more developed countries.
  • While there has long been a discourse on the human capital transfers associated with migration , the increasing role of skilled labour migration has revitalised debates relating to ‘brain gain’ versus ‘brain drain’ versus ‘brain waste’ etc for countries of origin and destination.
  • The knowledge economy has been at the centre of recent economic development debates. Local and regional development theories have focussed in particular on the idea of the ‘learning region’ or the ‘learning city’, exploring notions such as collective learning, shared value and mutual interdependencies. This has tended to underplay the key role played by international migration in innovation and knowledge transfers.

The central aim of the research is to extend understanding of how migrants’ human capital is constituted, transferred and utilised in hybridised forms in both countries of origin and destination. There are three main component projects.

Initially, the programme will explore the re-conceptualisation of migrant learning, and the acquisition, application and diffusion of skills. It will explore the relationships between the literatures on tacit versus explicit knowledge, specific competences and types of skill, workplace versus socially situated learning, the transferability versus the embeddedness of skills, and the social recognition of skills. This will be supplemented by two case studies: of migrant learning in the UK and returned migrant knowledge transfers to Central Europe (Slovakia).

Case studies will be based on in-depth interviews with a range of skilled migrants and returned migrants, exploring the importance of differences in migration experiences and skills. It will focus on their experiences of workplace and socially situated learning, as migrants and returned migrants. Employers in both the public (including health) and private sectors will also be interviewed to provide an understanding of how companies recognise, enhance and seek to diffuse the knowledge and skills carried by migrants and returned migrants. Finally, interviews will be undertaken with key informants in government and voluntary sector bodies engaged with training and learning relating to migrants in the two case study countries.

The programme will contribute to the literature on knowledge economies, and to the debate about the role of international migration in producing and reproducing these, and associated social and spatial inequalities.

Web site link:

Wood, Professor Ian
Professor of Early Medieval History, University of Leeds
The Use and Abuse of the Early Middle Ages in the Eighteenth, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Interpretations of the Early Middle Ages have played a central role in the self-definition of Europe. Whilst major aspects of European culture can be traced back to the Greco-Roman period, no European state is a direct descendent of the Roman Empire. Various western European countries can, however, claim to be descendents of kingdoms founded in the direct aftermath of the Fall of Rome. As a result, the period from 400 to 600 has been exploited in various ways since the eighteenth century. One aspect of this has been relatively well, but not exhaustively, charted in recent years: the role which the barbarian migrations played in the development of theories of ethnicity in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Germany. There are other equally important issues, however, which have been less well considered: for instance the use of the Early Middle Ages in debates about the French monarchy in the decades before the French Revolution, and indeed Gibbon's position in those debates. Even in the late twentieth century the peoples of the Migration Age have been used in political discourse, both to promote the cause of European Unity, and in the cause of regionalism. Over the last decade major exhibitions in France and Germany have explicitly seen in the Franks a model for the European Union. My research aims to study changing patterns in the exploitation of the Early Middle Ages, in politics and culture, over the last two and half centuries. It will thus be a study of the exploitation of the past, but will also necessarily contribute to debates about the relevance of medieval studies in the modern world.

Senior Research Fellowships

51 applications, 7 awards

Curry, Professor Anne
Professor of Medieval History, University of Southampton
The English Army in Normandy, 1415–1450

Henry V is best known for his victory at Agincourt but equally impressive was his later systematic conquest of Normandy which ushered in over thirty years of English rule. This was a unique military experience for the English. Never before had they sustained such an intensive hold over such a large area of France for such a long period. The surviving archives for the army of occupation, left behind when the English were booted out in 1449-50, are exceptionally rich, making possible the reconstruction of the composition as well as the actions of the army. The project will create an analytical narrative contrasting five main periods: conquest 1415-20; consolidation 1420-1428; crisis 1428-1436; retrenchment 1436-1444; and denouement 1444-50. The methodology will be to investigate interrelationships between, on the one hand, trends in political and military circumstances in both England and France, and, on the other, changes in the deployment, organization and personnel of the army in Normandy. Military historians in the past have tended to treat ‘events’ separately from ‘systems’: the aim here is to integrate the two. In addition, four key themes will be explored comparatively over the whole period: command structures; the soldiery; civil/military relations; support systems (such as the rise of artillery). The uniting theme of the whole study is an evaluation of the English military system within the broader debate about the rise of state armies in late medieval and early modern Europe. Should we see the English army which occupied Normandy during the exciting and intriguing second phase of the Hundred Years War (1415-50) as ‘the first English standing army’?

Duff, Professor Peter
Professor of Criminal Justice, School of Law, University of Aberdeen
Theorising the Scottish Law of Criminal Evidence: Hearsay and Expert Opinion Evidence

The law of criminal evidence in Scotland is under-theorised, unlike its counterpart south of the border where there are a variety of excellent textbooks which adopt a theoretical perspective and many excellent, scholarly articles commenting upon and criticising developments in the law of evidence. The main reason for this lacuna is that there has been almost no academic writing in the area of Scots criminal evidence, primarily because in the five Scottish law schools, until very recently, the law of evidence was traditionally regarded as a ‘professional’ subject and was thus taught by practitioners engaged by the universities very much on a part-time basis. Another contributory factor is a widespread feeling that the Scots law in this field is very distinctive, if not unique, and a consequent lack of interest in both the law and academic writing in other jurisdictions. On closer scrutiny, this insularity is not intellectually justifiable, the problems facing the Scots law of criminal evidence, unsurprisingly, bearing a remarkable resemblance to the issues arising elsewhere.

The sub-projects referred to above are part of a greater and longer-term enterprise which aims to bring a theoretical perspective to the law of criminal evidence in Scotland. I have recently published long articles on other aspects of the law of criminal evidence in Scotland, namely ‘similar facts’ evidence and the admissibility of irregularly obtained real evidence. These draw heavily upon the English academic writers, such as Ashworth, Cross, Dennis, McEwan, Tapper, Twining and Zuckerman, and their efforts to develop an intellectually rigorous framwork within which the law of evidence can develop. The topics involved in the present study - ie hearsay evidence and expert opinion evidence – represent the next stages involved in going through all major aspects of the Scottish law of criminal evidence.

The work to be done in 2004-5 will involve tracing the development of the Scots law in these two areas from the time of the institutional writings of Hume until the present day by analysing all the relevant cases and attempting to identify the principles which have been guiding the Scottish courts. In addition, there has been some legislative activity as regards hearsay evidence, following a consideration of this topic by the Scottish Law Commission in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The main purpose of this exercise will be to identify a theoretical framework, informed by the body of English scholarship, which justifies and clarifies the approach adopted by the Scottish courts to hearsay and expert opinion evidence without unduly distorting the main Scottish authorities and remaining true to the separate character of Scots law.

Further information available from: http:/

Forsdick, Professor Charles
James Barrow Professor of French, School of Modern Languages, University of Liverpool
Toussaint Louverture as Transnational Figure: Representations of the Haitian Revolutionary in World Literature and History

The celebration of the bicentenary of Haitian independence (2004) provides an opportunity to reassess the centrality of Toussaint Louverture to post-colonial history, culture and literature. Reducing the revolutionary leader to the national level risks, however, denying him the transnational, transcultural status he has achieved over the past two centuries. For Toussaint has been translated, transculturated and reinterpreted in such a wide range of historical, cultural and ideological contexts that, even shortly after his death, he had transcended the marginality to which French revolutionary historiography has regularly endeavoured to relegate him. This project proposes to analyse these processes, presenting the posthumous figure as a phenomenon open to a range of re-interpretations and re-contextualizations that variously consolidate, strengthen or dilute the historical figure’s initial impact.

The project’s methodology engages with areas central to recent developments in Arts and Humanities research. Having identified a series of interpretations of Toussaint from a representative range of historical, political, geographical and cultural contexts, I intend to explore the network of relationships between these, considering how the meanings of Toussaint change as they are repeated but also repeat as they are changed. A principal point of reference will be Edward Said’s ‘travelling theory’, of which the project is in many ways a practical exploration; it presents the posthumous Toussaint as a phenomenon open to a range of re-interpretations and re-contextualizations that variously consolidate, strengthen or dilute the historical figure’s initial impact. This investigation of the ‘travelling theory’ thesis will be linked to a reconsideration of two other key concepts in postcolonial studies: transculturation (understood especially as the radical transformation of ideas and phenomena as a result of their transfer between cultures) and translation (presented as part of a wider shift, or ‘translation turn’, in cultural studies). Although the project will not focus in detail on the biographical debates surrounding Toussaint, to which research devoted to him has often been restricted, the processes of transfer and transformation on which it concentrates will also be situated in relation to recent critical work on biography and mythologization, as well as recent studies of memorialization. Toussaint will be read as a figure whose various interpretations range from hagiography to instrumentalization, and who might accordingly be seen as an exemplary postcolonial illustration of what Nora has dubbed a ‘lieu de mémoire’. Two of the global aims of the project are, through exploration of Toussaint in a range of historical contexts, to move beyond some of the restrictions inherent in postcolonial criticism and accordingly to suggest more complex and attenuated ways of understanding intercultural and transcultural phenomena.

Further information is available from:

Gregor, Dr Neil
Reader in Modern German History, University of Southampton
War, Memory and Urban Culture: Nuremberg and the Nazi Past, 1945–1968

The past was constantly present in post-war West Germany. Far from being driven to the margins of public consciousness by a population whose desire to forget constituted a ‘second sin’ (Giordano), it was a key site on which contemporary politics was played out. The effects of the Cold War and of the ‘restorationist’ politics of the Adenauer era in allowing some stories to be told and causing others to be suppressed, in giving voice to some communities of remembrance whilst silencing others, have been explored in several studies recently. Together, they have explored how Germans chose to remember their own suffering over that which they had caused to others, how they equated the victims of their own crimes with victims of expulsion in 1945 or of internment in the Soviet Union after the end of the war, how they otherwise imagined the past in a manner which sought to marginalise the peculiar racial destructiveness to which they, as a community, had been party under Nazism. But in treating the stories told of the past simply as a set of apologetic fictions which served contemporary political and ideological ends, such studies fail to answer the question of just why these stories were so compelling to ordinary Germans. The contention of this project is that, as well as seeing in stories of German trauma a set of self-serving fictions which suited the political needs of the 1950s and 1960s, we need to stop and think about the public narratives of the multi-dimensional shocks and aftershocks of the war as being connected to a set of human experiences. This study will thus seek to explain the marginalisation of the Holocaust in West German remembrance as a product less of the Cold War or of domestic political pressures than of the social conditions engendered by war, defeat and occupation.

Schulze, Dr Max-Stephan
Lecturer in Economic History, LSE
A Macroeconomic History of the Habsburg Empire, 1815–1913

Characterized by profound regional differences in geography, income and resource endowments, the Central and East European lands under Habsburg rule formed by area the second largest country in Europe after Russia and ranked among the Continent’s largest economies in terms of total output. This project addresses several major issues in Austria-Hungary’s economic development. First, why did the Habsburg economy fall behind neighbouring western economies with similar initial levels of per capita income in the first half of the 19 th century? Second, how can we explain the failure to catch-up thereafter? Third, to what extent was the pattern of growth and structural change shaped by historical contingency? Fourth, why did market integration within Austria-Hungary’s customs union not lead to a more rapid diminution in regional income/development differentials than is observable across European economies not tied together by free trade and a common external tariff? Finally, what were the effects of expanding foreign trade on these regional differentials and what its repercussions on the rate and direction of structural change? The aim of this research is to produce a book on the quantitative macro-economic history of the Habsburg Empire that recognizes both the empire’s position on the European periphery and its internal locational concentration of economic activity. Its purpose is a re-interpretation of the pattern of economic change and its main determinants in the light of new evidence.

Shipley, Professor Graham
Professor of Ancient History, University of Leicester
Macedonian Power and Landscape Change in the Early Hellenistic Peloponnese

This project explores the effects of Macedonian power on the landscapes of the Peloponnese, Greece, in the early Hellenistic period (late fourth to early second centuries BC). It draws on literary sources, inscriptions, and new archaeological data as well as recent work on landscape theory and ancient Mediterranean ecology. It seeks to treat the Peloponnese in a new way, as a set of interacting regions, and explores landscape change in the sense of changes in settlements (rural and urban), cult sites, land use and ownership, and relations between places. Differences of scale (e.g. region, city-state, locality) will be used to characterize change and continuity. Focuses of investigation include regional and local identities, the political structure of city-states and leagues, changes in property ownership and élite power, regional and local interactions, the mechanisms of Macedonian rule and its impact upon the landscape, and the causes of civil strife within Greek cities.

Stewart, Dr Charles
Reader in Anthropology, UCL
The Unconscious and Historical Consciousness: Dreaming of the Past in Greece

Cultural continuity has been a vexed question for those concerned with the history of the area now known as Greece (or ‘Hellas’, as the Greek State recently dictated). Romantic philhellenes and modern Greek patriots assume that contemporary Greek culture must be continuous with ancient Greek culture. Latter-day historians and anthropologists have been more sceptical.

Dr Stewart maintains that how people in this area have themselves thought about continuity or rupture over the last two millennia is what critically matters. The evidence of dreams (systems of interpretation, imagery/motifs of particular dream narratives) has never been considered in relation to continuity. He will explore numerous types of dreams (e.g. of illness, incubation, treasure) to see how they reflect upon historical events. The Hellenic record of dreaming may be considered an unconscious tradition in two respects: 1) Dreaming is generally a non-conscious form of mentation; 2) Contemporary ideologues (folklorists, nationalists) have not yet conceptualized them as a usable ‘tradition’. The great American anthropologist Franz Boas maintained that such ‘unconscious traditions’ furnished prime evidence for the recognition of a culture and its continuity over time. In this case, however, the dreams are often bound up with the mediation of change. By investigating the unconscious as a mode in which people engage with their historicity this project explores new territory in the borderland between History, Anthropology and Psychology.

Web link to Dr Stewart’s UCL webpage:

Thank-Offering to Britain Fellowship

Applications as SRF, 1 award

Matravers, Dr Matt
Senior Lecturer in Political Philosophy, Department of Politics, University of York
Dangerous Severe Personality Disorder, Responsibility and the State

In two important recent documents the Government has outlined a new policy in the established area of ‘dangerousness’. The key notion in these documents is Dangerous Severe Personality Disorder; a condition that the Government admits is ill-defined. In this research, Dr Matravers examines our accounts of responsibility through the prism of ‘personality disorder’, both to identify a relevant notion of personality disorder and to determine what may justly be done to those who fall under this description. This requires bringing together two literatures that have hitherto remained largely separate. First, from moral philosophy, where the primary focus has been on conceptions of responsibility and the challenge posed to these conceptions by those whose ability to appreciate moral reasons is impaired. Second, from legal and political philosophy, where interest has centred on the high levels of false positives in the existing mechanisms for identifying those who are dangerous and on the tension between the need to respect individual rights and the need for social protection. The task is to bring into constructive engagement our accounts of responsibility and the legal and political concerns of managing dangerousness.